Benton officers respond to theft at Walmart

Staff Writer

At approximately 7:30 p.m.Wednesday Benton police officers responded to Walmart for a reported robbery. The victim reported a purse was in the shopping cart nearby when Jason Donnell, 44, of Benton, allegedly grabbed a wallet and ran. In the process, the Donnell pushed the victim’s child out of the way to reach the wallet. As the Donnell attempted to get away, he dropped the wallet and was quickly apprehended in a nearby wooded area.
In connection with the incident, Donnell is being charged with theft of property.
“We understand the concerns regarding a possible abduction attempt during this incident,” said Captain Kevin Russell. “Based on the information gathered, it cannot at this time be classified as a kidnapping attempt.”
Russell encourages anyone who had witnessed the incident to contact the BNPD.
"Formal reports are a necessary part of police work, and they can make a tremendous difference in any case, so please contact us,” Russell said.
He also wants citizens to know that the situation is not being taken lightly.
“It’s very emotionally charged due to the involvement of a juvenile, and what we want everyone to understand is that officers are parents, too, and as such, when combined with our duty to protect and serve, we have a strong sense of urgency in this and all other cases to ensure the safety of our community. The difficult aspect in cases such as these is that under the letter of the law, we are burdened with proving the intent behind criminal actions, and at this time, this incident simply does not meet the criteria for an attempted kidnapping. As parents and residents of this community, we know situations such as these are alarming, but we want to emphasize that the suspect is in custody, and we are grateful no one was physically harmed during the incident.”
The investigation is ongoing and additional information may be forthcoming. Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Benton Police Department at 501-778-1171 or 501-315-TIPS. Anonymous tips may also be sent via text to CRIMES (274637) with the keyword BNPD in the body of the message, via the official Benton Police Department app available on iTunes and Google Play or at